Monday, March 31, 2008

Philosophy to Religion

I was watching Anthony Bourdain in China a few minutes ago, and he used a phrase that intrigued me. He referred to a particular temple as a place "where Daoism changed from a philosophy to a religion for many people".

Does that actually happen, and if so, how? It seems to me that religion requires a theistic element most philosophy doesn't have, and such an element can't easily be incorporated into an existing philosophical framework. It has to be part of the philosophy from the start. But I certainly am no expert. If someone out there can provide a possible philosophy-to-religion mechanism, I'd love to know about it.

In Anthony's case, I think he used the term "religion" in anther sense, to express a increase in intensity of adherence to the philosophy.

1 comment:

Dale said...

Good question. It *sounds* like the process by which actual belief in the tenets of the religion are replaced by a more dispassionate appreciation -- the central figure/writer is a poet, not a prophet; a sage, not a messenger of god himself; the book is a good and useful contribution to literature, not the sacred teachings of a touchy deity.

However this transition is achieved, it sounds good to me! The Abrahamic faiths need this transition in the worst way!